While I may be the type of lady who curses like a sailor and drinks milk straight from the carton, my comfort zone is the little old lady section of the diner menu. My daily breakfast of choice will always be a cup of coffee and buttered toast. If it’s a festive weekend brunch with friends, I’ll let myself go a little crazy and order a nice, sensible cheese blintz.
At lunchtime, I order the special, because who doesn’t like value? And as the waitress clears the remains of my cup of Manhattan clam chowder and chicken salad on whole wheat toast, she asks, “Would you like Jell-O or rice pudding for dessert?” Duh.
My spiritual center is diner pudding and sensible shoes.
I love rice pudding, but I always forget it exists. The only people who ever remember to order rice pudding on the regular are the little old ladies. Behind my external bravado, in the deepest crannies of soul, I am at one with them. I desire to be timeless and wise, to find beauty in the classics, revel in life’s simple joys. My spiritual center is diner pudding and sensible shoes.
Sadly, we live in an age where standards such as rice pudding, cheese blintzes, and Wonder Bread toast are woefully underappreciated. Practical things rarely pop on Instagram—too much brown and white, not enough rainbows.
But who says we can’t make a little old lady food minotaur, combining excitement and a photogenic pedigree with timeless, tasteful sensibilities? Why can’t we come to the brunch table with something that will inspire everyone to take out their phones and type, “Sweet! I freaking love rice pudding! #puddinggoals” in Instagram comments the world over? We’re throwing together a black shift dress and a string of pearls, and reminding everyone who taught the young folks how to make breakfast in the first place.
Little old ladies are wiser than you could ever hope to be. Respect your elders.
Rice Pudding Blintzes with Blueberry Sauce
Note: Use whatever jam or berries you want. I’m not your grandma.
Note: If you have any leftover rice pudding, you can either serve on the side, or hide in the back of the fridge so no one will ever know you have a “secret pudding stash.”
Allison and Matt Robicelli are the authors of the critically acclaimed cookbook Robicelli's: A Love Story, with Cupcakes andhave created multiple internationally viral desserts.
For the blintz batter:
⅓ cup sugar
¾ cup milk
¼ cup water
1 cup flour
For the rice pudding:
2 cups cooked white rice
1 ½ cups milk
½ cup half-and-half (use milk if you want to be a wuss)
⅓ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
½ teaspoon vanilla
For the blueberry sauce:
12 ounces blueberry jam (jarred is fine)
½ cup water
1 pint fresh blueberries
Cinnamon, for dusting
How to Make It
Whisk eggs until pale yellow, then add sugar, milk, and water. Mix in flour and salt, and allow to sit for at least one hour, or overnight in the refrigerator if you can.
In a medium saucepan, combine cooked rice, milk, salt, and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens—about 5 minutes.
In a microwave-safe bowl or small saucepan, stir together jam and hot water, then cook until it begins to steam and thins a bit.
Heat a crepe pan or medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and coat well with cooking spray. Pour ¼ cup of the blintz batter into the pan, swirling to cover the bottom evenly. Cook for about 45 seconds until it sets, then slide it off onto a baking sheet. You do not need to flip to cook the other side, but remember not to stack them after you take them out of the pan. Continue until all the blintzes are cooked. You should have at least 8 blintzes.
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